Engineer says Columbia Gas pipeline project begins in county

“I just received notification that the Columbia Gas pipeline project is coming to Morgan County this week,” explained Morgan County Engineer Steve Hook. “The pipeliners are leaving Noble County and will be here to start the first phase of cutting timber.”

The timber-cutters are just the first crew of workers to begin construction, in Deerfield and Bloom Townships, of a 12-mile stretch of 36” pipeline that will cross 33 local landowners’ properties.

“After the timber-cutters complete their work, the next crew of workers will arrive and clear the land for the construction of the new pipeline,” Engineer Hook said. “After the land is cleared, then the pipeliners will move in and start laying pipeline.”

Engineer Hook said, in an interview at the Herald Friday, that local residents should not be concerned about damages to any roads within Morgan County.

“Columbia Gas has already posted $4 million in road bonds,” Hook announced. “Four million dollars should be plenty of money to repair any damages done to our roads by this pipeline project.”

The Leach XPress Project involves construction of approximately 160 miles of natural gas pipeline and compression facilities in southeastern Ohio and West Virginia’s northern panhandle.

The roughly $1.4 billion investment will enable the safe transport of approximately 1.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas from the heart of the Appalachian supply basin to natural gas consumers served by the Columbia Gas and Columbia Gulf pipeline systems. When completed, the new Leach XPress pipeline and compressor system will supply this region with domestic, clean-burning natural gas for generations to come.

According to Zane Daniels, a manager with Columbia Pipeline Group, 33 Morgan County landowners and 80 Noble County landowners will be leasing land for the construction of a 50-foot wide permanent easement for operation and maintenance of the new pipeline.

The section of pipeline in Morgan and Noble Counties will consist of 36-inch diameter pipe. The pipeline will run for 12 miles through Morgan County and 22 miles through Noble County. The entire project will impact 950 landowners and 1,200 parcels of land in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

In August of 2014, the Herald reported that The Leach XPress Project also will include three new compressors. The compressors will be located in Marshall County, WV and Noble and Jackson Counties in Ohio.

“This project will be a substantial economic benefit for Morgan and Noble Counties,” said Daniels. “The pipeline construction project, in Morgan County, will take approximately six to eight months to complete, but we will be maintaining good community relations for a long time.”

Daniels says Columbia Pipeline Group plans to be as transparent as possible throughout the duration of the pipeline construction project as well as the life of the pipeline.

“The Leach XPress Pipeline Project is the largest project in the history of our company,” said Daniels. “This will be a long process and a tremendous benefit for this part of the state.”

Daniels is excited about the project because he claims it will bring good paying jobs to the area, tax revenue for local schools and allow the industry to reach full potential.

“The interstate market has been frustrated lately because the transmission capability has not been available,” said Daniels. “Once we complete this pipeline and contect both ends to already existing pipelines, we will be able to transport gas to the Gulf Coast.”

From Morgan County Herald  |  March 1, 2017